Rents in Longford were on average 9.8% higher in the first three months of 2018 than a year previously, according to the latest quarterly Rental Report by Daft.ie. The average advertised rent is now €628, up 56% from its lowest point.
Longford is the 4th least expensive area to rent in the country. Leitrim is the least expensive at €545, followed by Donegal and Roscommon on €594 and €626, respectively.
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Rents rose nationwide by an average of 11.5% in the year to March 2018. This represents the eighth consecutive quarter in which annual inflation in rents has been greater than 10% and also that a new all-time high has been set.
The average monthly rent nationwide during the first quarter of 2018 was €1,261. This represents a monthly increase of €232 (€2,784 a year) compared to their previous peak in 2008.
In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to March 2018 was 12.8% and rents in the capital are now 30%, or €430 a month, higher than their previous peak a decade ago.
Rents continue to rise rapidly in other cities also. In Limerick city, rents were 17.1% higher than a year ago, while in Waterford, the increase was 14.6%. Galway saw its rents increase by 13.6% in the same period, while in Cork, rents rose by 9.3%.
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Outside the five main cities, rents rose by an average of 10.1%.
There were 3,086 properties available to rent nationwide in April. This is the lowest number ever recorded for this time of year since the series started in 2006, and the figure marks a 17% decrease on the same date a year previously.
Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft Report, said: "The solution to high rents involves only one medicine: more supply."
He added, "The number of properties available to rent in the first four months of 2018 was just 3,200, below both the previous two years (3,800 and 3,900) and well below the 16,000 in 2012. That year was far from the peak. In 2009, an average of almost 21,000 properties were available to rent during the first four months of the year.
"The implications of all of this are obvious. By focusing on limiting rent increases, rather than boosting the supply of rental accommodation, policy is merely shuffling the fixed stock of rental homes between a number of tenants and prospective tenants that is far larger than that stock.
"Policy has, in other words, turned the rental market into an insider-outsider system. Those in the know, or in a sitting lease, benefit from, on average, below-market rents and also having those rents protected by Rent Pressure Zone rules into the future.
"Those without any such in are reduced to fighting for the scraps on the open market. If you don’t like that outcome – and, as someone worried both about social justice and about the country’s international competitiveness, I certainly don’t – then the solution is not to ban rents from going up further but to bring about the new supply that will prevent rents from do so."